Abbott’s ‘one-member, one-vote’ deal busted
TONY Abbott's plan to give every NSW Liberal member a vote on preselections could be shafted by his own Right faction in a deal to carve up power in the state.
The move would limit "one-member, one-vote" preselections to lower house seats in exchange for increasing the number of positions for the Right on the party's executive.
Mr Abbott and the Right have backed a push to open up all positions - including the NSW upper house and the federal Senate - to preselections where every member is given a vote, breaking a Left faction stranglehold on candidates.
Instead, the Right will back Mr Abbott's model at February's annual party meeting, then back the Left's preferred changes when the so-called Warringah motion fails, which is likely.
Four party sources with detailed knowledge of the discussions confirmed to The Daily Telegraph the Right would have an increased number of positions on the executive - six - while the Left would control nine and the Centre Right four.
Despite failing to be elected to the Senate, Hollie Hughes would likely return as party vice-president alongside current acting president Kent Johns and former state Attorney-General Greg Smith.
Former federal Attorney-General Phillip Ruddock is the preferred candidate for party president.
That deal was brokered by Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Better Regulations Minister Matt Kean alongside other Right and Left faction heavyweights.
It is backed by Premier Gladys Berejiklian as a way to defuse factional tensions ahead of the 2019 election.
Mr Perrottet told The Daily Telegraph he continued to be "a strong supporter of the Warringah Motion to give a greater say to grassroots members of the Liberal Party".
"I also believe it's important to have a united party and am therefore supportive of the proposal for a unity ticket for the state executive, headed by Phillip Ruddock," he said.
A senior Left source said nobody "wants to tear the party apart" but "the Warringah model (backed by Mr Abbott) is the casualty of the peace, not of the war".
A clear majority of party members had backed the sweeping reform motion to open up all positions to "one-member, one-vote" preselections at a July convention.
The Left prefer a model which increases the number of members deciding on Senate candidates to 600, giving each faction a proportional say on who will run.